Patipanza

Fabiola Santiago, who along with Juan O. Tamayo seem to be the only bright spots in the Herald’s coverage of Cuba, has an excellent article on life in the Castro regime’s gulags.

Freed Cuban political prisoners give details of life in jail

By Fabiola Santiago | The Miami Herald

Boiled plantain-flavored water as soup. A greasy scoop of bland, yellowing beef fat as a side dish. A stew dubbed “the giraffe” because “you had to stretch your neck to find something in it.” A hairy heap of ground pig eyes, cheek, ears, and other unidentifiable parts served as a main course.

The meal, nicknamed patipanza, is one of the typical dishes served in Cuban prisons, according to political prisoners freed and expatriated to the Spanish capital under an agreement negotiated by the Roman Catholic Church and the Spanish government.

“They didn’t even bother to take the hairs off the animal’s skin and it stank,” says Mijail Barzaga, 43, who spent seven years in four Cuban prisons.